It’s been a long time since our last post! We had a great summer and fall, and now seem to be stuck in winter for the foreseeable future. We typically have our first boil right around the first of March, which would be this weekend. Unfortunately we are stuck in a cold snap, and until the weather turns a bit warmer the sap will remain frozen in the trees. Ideal temperatures for sap to flow are 40’s during the day and below freezing at night. I think we have the nights figured out…we just need some warm days!
Given the weather situation, we won’t be able to boil the weekend of February 28 or the weekend of March 7. We will watch the temperatures closely and hope that we see a turnaround so we can host tours during the weekend of March 14.
Maple is the first crop of the year, kicking off the agricultural season. In New England the sugaring season is typically 4 weeks in duration, extending through month of March. With the late start this year you may wonder if the season will extend until the middle of April. We can’t predict for certain when it will end, but there are two major factors that come into play.
The first factor is the temperature. We need variation between warm days (40+ degrees) and cold nights (below freezing). This variation is what causes the sap to move between the roots and branches of the tree. During that movement is when the sap travels past our taps, resulting in what is considered a “flow day”. There are usually between 14-17 days during the month of March where we see those temperatures. By the time April comes, the nighttime temperatures are usually not low enough, therefore the sap remains in the tree roots unable to pass by our taps.
The second factor, which is also tied to weather, is when the trees begin to bud. Once we see buds on the trees, the sap changes flavor and therefore is not usable for making syrup.
So given those two factors, it is likely that the season will still end by the end of March, but only Mother Nature knows how long she will keep us in this frozen state!
We will update the website as well as our facebook page as we know more. Fingers crossed…and searching for a “hurry up Spring” dance!